Infinite Frontier #4 – Infinite Betrayal

  • Writer: Joshua Williamson
  • Pencillers: Paul Pelletier, Jesus Merino, Xermanico
  • Inkers: Norm Rapmund, Raul Fernandez, Xermanico
  • Colorist: Hi-Fi
  • Letterer: Tom Napolitano
  • Cover Artist: Mitch Gerards
  • Variant Cover: Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair
  • Editors: Diego Lopez, Jamie S Rich

Main Cover: Shown above at the top of the cover is the Superman of Earth-23 in front of multiple Earths; below him is Thomas Wayne, the Batman of the FLASPOINT timeline; and below him is Darkseid.

Variant Cover: Shown on the right is Superman of Earth-23.

Page 1 – Panel 1: This is the helmet of Machine Head, the hero of Earth-8 who is part of Justice Incarnate. Reflected in the metal is Machinehead himself whose face has clearly sustained some damage. The speaker is . . .

Page 1 – Panel 2: Captain Carrot of Earth-26. The “Papa Batman” he mentions is Thomas Wayne, the Batman of the FLASHPOINT timeline.

Page 1 – Panel 3: Beyond Captain Carrot is Machinehead who has taken some time to remove his helmet. The team spent the last couple of issues collecting parts of the ship that had scattered across the Multiverse and they’re now ready for study in Machinehead’s lab.

Page 2: Front and centre in a white suit (contrasting with his normal appearance) is Thomas Wayne; beside him is President Calvin Ellis of Earth-23 aka Superman. Behind them is one of Ellis’s staff, Courtney.

Page 3 – Panels 1 to 4: The Oval Office in the White House. Not a lot to say about these, although it’s clear Courtney doesn’t trust Wayne on first meeting.

Page 3 – Panel 5: The man found in the Ellis’s field was Wayne, back on the first couple of pages of issue #1.

Page 3 – Panel 6: The Kelex Superman refers to is . . .

Page 4 – Panel 1: . . . the Kryptonian robot who acts as Superman’s aide. Wayne describes the transformed Oval Office as a “fortress” which is an obvious reference to the Fortress of Solitude that Superman has used through the ages in one form or another.

Page 4 – Panel 2: In the previous issue, Superman was considering who else was sick of the Multiverse, and it appears he was thinking of Lex Luthor.

Page 4 – Panel 3

Page 4 – Panel 3: It appears most Luthors, regardless of their Earth of origin, will build some form of purple and green battle suit. Superman speaks of a “transmatter symphonic array” that Luthor was building to travel to other worlds – in the satellite era of the original Justice League of America, that held an annual team up with the Justice Society of Earth 2 and used a “transmatter cube” to teleport from one world to the other. The “symphonic” addition calls to mind the worlds vibrating at different frequencies.

Page 5 – Panel 1: In the top right we can see the Ellis’s on screen. While Wayne considers this a good thing to spy on loved ones, Superman says it was their idea.

Page 5 – Panels 2 to 5: Superman is able to work out Luthor’s location.

Page 6 – Panel 1: Nice to see Batman riffing on the Superman trope of pulling the shirt open to reveal his suit beneath.

Page 6 – Panel 2: The Legion of Doom headquarters in a desert, presumably Nevada or Utah by the look of the rock formations.

Page 6 – Panel 3: As they fight they discuss their families. The escape shuttle was what brought Wayne to Earth-23 back in issue #1.

Page 6 – Panel 5: While Earth-0 is where Wayne is from, it’s technically not his home-world as he says, due to him coming from a future timeline that no longer exists. His son that Superman mentions is the Batman of Earth-0 who, in Wayne’s timeline, had been killed as a child.

Page 7 – Panels 1 and 2: Wayne had survived the destruction of his timeline and ended up on Earth-0 where he teamed up with Bane in order to convince Batman, his son, to give up the role. It didn’t end well, resulting in Wayne being placed in Arkham Asylum from where he was abducted by X-Tract, as shown in flashback in issue #2. After all that, Wayne has no desire at all to go back to Earth-0.

Page 7 – Panel 3: Lead has always been a problem for every Superman’s X-ray vision.

Page 7 – Panel 5: Superman and Wayne enter Luthor’s lair to find . . .

Page 8 – Panel 1

Page 8 – Panel 1: . . . Luthor dead of a massive wound to his chest. Behind him are schematics of the same arks we saw Director Bones and the DEO using in the previous issue.

Page 8 – Panel 2: Superman shows compassion for his enemy.

Page 8 – Panel 3: And Batman deduces that the Luthor of Earth-23 designed the shuttle that brought Wayne to this Earth.

Page 9 – Panel 1: And someone killed him for it. That we’re now on Earth-0 and find . . .

Page 9 – Panel 2: . . . Director Bones of the DEO, it’s a safe bet who that someone is. With him, and arguing with him, is Cameron Chase. The investigations Chase undertook were summarised in INFINITE FRONTIER SECRET FILES.

Page 9 – Panel 3: For those wondering how Chase survived the detonation of Captain Atom at the end of issue #2, here’s your answer. X-Tract (on the left) grabbed her just as Atom exploded.

Page 9 – Panel 4: “Darkseid is” were indeed Atom’s last words.

Page 9 – Panel 5: And Bones just handwaves them aside, like the mention of one of the DCU’s biggest threats is nothing to be concerned about. The speech balloon on the right belongs to . . .

Page 10 – Panel 1: . . . Obsidian, who is being held captive on the right of the page; on the left is his father Green Lantern (GL) Alan Scott; walking up the steps towards Scott is X-Tract. Both GL Scott and Obsidian are looking for his sister Jade.

Page 10 – Panel 2: “That’s how these things always play out.” GL Scott’s right – the good guys usually win.

Page 10 – Panel 3: X-Tract appears to be displaying some vibrationary powers.

Page 11 – Panel 2: Chase clearly doesn’t like X-Tract.

Page 11 – Panels 3 and 4: Bones asks after Hammond – this is Hector Hammond, once a Green Lantern villain, now working for Bones and the DEO. We saw him and his ship in the previous issue. As X-Tract says, Hammond had caught Roy Harper.

Page 11 – Panel 6: Bones’s phone has a Pear logo on the back, the DCU’s version of Apple.

Pages 12 and 13 – Panel 1

Pages 12 and 13 – Panel 1: Bones displays the antagonists or protagonists of the various Crises that have befallen the DCU over the years. I’ll ignore Bones and Chase and then split these into three groups – the large characters at the back of the display, then those on the top level, then those on the bottom. Left to right are:

Large Characters

  • Anti-Monitor from the original CRISIS
  • Perpetua from DARK NIGHTS: METAL
  • Mr Mind from 52
  • Brainiac Prime from FUTURE’S END

Top Level

  • Superman of Earth-2 (pre-Crisis)
  • Superman of Earth-1 (pre-Crisis)
  • Superman of New Earth
  • Superman of Earth-0
  • Mr Mxyzptlk
  • Telos
  • Booster Gold
  • Dr Manhattan
  • Flash
  • Reverse Flash
  • Dominus
  • Extant

Bottom Level

  • Wonder Woman of Earth-2 (pre-Crisis)
  • Wonder Woman of Earth-1 (pre-Crisis)
  • Wonder Woman of New Earth
  • Wonder Woman of Earth-0
  • Batman of Earth-2 (pre-Crisis)
  • Batman of Earth-1 (pre-Crisis)
  • Batman of New Earth
  • Batman of Earth-0
  • The Monitor
  • Parallax
  • Monarch
  • Alex Luthor Jr
  • Pandora
  • The Batman Who Laughs
  • Superboy-Prime

Bones says he’s made a deal in order to keep Earth-0 safe from the inevitable attack from the Multiverse

Pages 12 and 13 – Panels 4 to 6: Bones admits that he knew the Captain Atom he sent Chase to deal with at the end of issue #2 wasn’t from Earth-0.

Pages 12 and 13 – Panel 7: Bones knows where the ark is heading and definitely doesn’t want to go there.

Page 14 – Panel 1: Which is too bad as Chase shoots him in the leg, preventing him leaving.

Page 14 – Panel 3: As the ship takes off, Bones’s appearance shimmers and begins to transform to his original skull and crossbones costume from when he was a villain in Helix.

Page 15 – Panel 1: This is the Bleed, the space between universes, and the ship of Hector Hammond that we saw at the end of the previous issue.

Page 15 – Panel 2: Left to right are Roy Harper; Jade; Damage; Atom Smasher; Wildcat; and Power Girl. Damage was killed in BLACKEST NIGHT #4 and later became a Black Lantern so he knows what he’s talking about.

Page 15 – Panels 4 and 5: Power Girl’s attack is repelled, leaving Jade to use her construct powers which are fuelled by the Starheart she mentions.

Page 16 – Panel 4

Page 16 – Panel 1: Fighting to regain his senses, Roy is able to call out Jade’s name.

Page 16 – Panel 4: There have been many versions of both the Titans and the Outsiders and, as Jade mentions, she and Roy served together on both of them at some point.

Page 17 – Panel 1: And a tearful reunion as Roy returns from his Black Lantern zombie state.

Page 17 – Panel 4: Roy had a vision of Lian, his daughter, back in issue #2.

Page 17 – Panel 5: The meeting Jade mentions was the one GL Scott and Obsidian, her father and brother, were heading to in issue #1 when the JSA headquarters exploded.

Page 18 – Panel 1: And here is that meeting with the same members of the JSA we’ve met already.

Page 18 – Panel 2: X-Tract is revealed as being behind the capture of Jade and the others.

Page 18 – Panel 3: X-Tract’s weapon reacting with the Starheart was the cause of the explosion.

Page 19 – Panel 2

Page 18 – Panel 4: Jade appears in the Bleed; behind her is an ark, presumably the one she was meant to be sent to, and beyond that another, severely damaged one which is the one that crashed across multiple worlds and which Justice Incarnate have been piecing together.

Page 19 – Panel 2: Power Girl pins Hammond down.

Page 19 – Panel 3: The other ship signalling is the one Chase and Bones are on as seen on page 14.

Page 19 – Panel 5: And Jade sends the ship to . . .

Page 20 – Panel 1: . . . Earth-Omega.

Page 20 – Panel 2: Jade’s father, GL Scott, is working with the Totality as we saw at the start of issue #1. The vision Roy mentions was the same one that showed his daughter being alive in issue #2.

Page 21 – Panel 1: The Anti-Monitor used Shadow Demons to attack the heroes and the various Earths during the original Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Page 21 – Panel 2: The Flash, imprisoned here on Earth-Omega, manipulated into believing he is saving people and being forced to run by . . .

Page 21 – Panel 3: . . . the Psycho-Pirate.

Page 21 – Panel 4: Have to agree with Atom Smasher – getting reinforcements sounds like a good idea.

Page 21 – Panel 5: Roy disagrees. Before he can do anything . . .

Page 22 – Panel 1: . . . the ark of the JSA is struck by another ship coming in.

Page 22 – Panel 2: Bones, Chase, and X-Tract are aboard the new ship. Bones’s appearance has reverted back to his more normal suit and tie.

Page 22 – Panel 4: Both ships crash land on Earth-Omega.

Page 22 – Panel 5: Chase is down, and behind her is the map of the multiverse. The mayday signal is picked up in . . .

Page 23 – Panel 1: . . . The House of Heroes, headquarters of Justice Incarnate.

Page 23 – Panel 3: The glowing head is Harbinger, the AI in charge of the house. For some reason, she silences the mayday signal.

Page 23 – Panel 4: Superman and Thomas Wayne return from Earth-23.

Page 23 – Panel 5: Superman wonders if Wayne’s Batman is the key to the whole situation they’re facing.

Page 24 – Panel 1: Machinehead reports that he is unable to find Flash.

Page 24 – Panel 2: Machinehead’s been busy, rebuilding the ark that the heroes salvaged from various Earths.

Page 24 – Panel 4: Superman wonders if the Luthor of Earth-23 had help from another universe.

Page 24 – Panel 5: As Thomas Wayne ruminates on Superman’s description of Wayne’s son as a “great hero” he looks into the Bleed and sees no his own reflection, but an image of the Earth-0 Batman, his son.

Page 25 – Panel 2

Page 25 – Panels 1 and 2: Superman attempts to find who was helping Luthor but Harbinger denies his request to view logs of multiversal journeys.

Page 25 – Panels 4 and 5: As Superman and his robot Kelex attempt to access the information, they instead find a hidden message from Flash of Earth-0.

Page 25 – Panel 6: Meanwhile, Thomas Wayne requests that Harbinger show him Batman.

Page 26 – Panel 1: And she complies, showing a multitude of Batmen. In the top left is Batman of Earth-12; below him is Batman of Earth-19; below him is Batman of Earth-1; in the middle at the top with the dome covering him is Batman of Earth-17; below him is Batman of Earth-22; back at the top an toward the right is the only full figure, the Batman of Earth-30; below his left knee (as we look at the page) is the Batman of Earth-43; in the very top left is a Batman insignia surrounded by a yellow border, our first unknown of the series; below him is Captain Leatherwing of Earth-31; and below him is Batman of Earth-38.

Page 26 – Panel 2: Flash’s message finally gets heard.

Page 27 – Panel 1: Left to right are Nightwing; Orphan; Batman; Robin; Red Hood; and Batgirl. Thomas Wayne realises that the Earth-0 Batman is stronger than ever, despite what Wayne had done.

Page 27 – Panel 2: The rest of Justice Incarnate arrive: Mary Marvel of Earth-5; Aquawoman of Earth-11; and Captain Carrot of Earth-26.

Page 27 – Panel 5: Wayne finally realises that his son will always be Batman.

Page 28 – Panel 1

Page 28 – Panel 1: Just in time to be shot down by Machinehead.

Page 28 – Panel 3: Catching his team-mates by surprise, Machinehead blasts them as well.

Page 29 – Panel 1: The command “Door” was used by the Authority to summon a teleportational device and is likely a deliberate reference.

Page 29 – Panel 3: Machinehead mentions a “war in secret” that he and his fellow heroes of Earth-8 fought against an invader alternate reality. As the characters of Earth-8 are all analogs of characters published by Marvel, this is a sly reference to SECRET WARS.

Page 29 – Panel 4: And he clearly blames Earth-0 for the problems his world suffered.

Page 29 – Panel 6: Machinehead found other heroes across the Multiverse who also want things to remain static, confirming Wayne’s suspicion from the previous issue that Magog was not “the only person sick of the Multiverse.

Page 30: Injustice Incarnate, Machinehead’s other team. This is the back up that Magog mentioned in the previous issue, Page 10 – Panel 2. In the top left we have Fate of Earth-13; Magog of Earth-22; Superdoom of Earth-45; back on the left is Jokero of Earth-32; Machinehead clearly showing his scarred face; Dr Sivana of Earth-5; Superwoman of Earth-3; and Lady Quark of Earth-48.

Confusingly, this is the Lois Lane version of Superwoman from an earlier Earth-3, not the now-current Donna Troy version.